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R OUNDTABLE RE P ORT

CAMPUS PLANNING & DESIGN:
THE ACADEMIC LANDSCAPE
A REPO RT ON LAN D S CA P E FORM S LE A D E R S R O U N D TA BLE
F EBRUARY 11-12 , 2 0 13 , A RIZON A S TAT E U N IVE R S IT Y

B Y G AI L G REE T H A N N A H

Students are not interested in hierarchy. They’re interested in information and
learning. Our job as planners and designers and landscape architects is to
help provide the structure for that to happen. A lot of learning is social and a
lot of that social learning happens out in the plazas and other outdoor spaces
on campus where people meet. We shouldn’t underestimate the power of
landscape architecture to help define these spaces.
Peter Hedlund, Principal, Sasaki Associates

In early February Landscape Forms brought together twelve Preservation — renovating and repurposing existing struc-
leading design professionals to discuss current issues and tures and spaces including “places of memory.”
approaches in campus planning and design. The group
Growth — accommodating institutional growth and high-
included architects and landscape architects representing
cost, space intensive research facilities.
seven major academic institutions and five firms doing
important work in the field. The meeting at Arizona State Technology — providing infrastructure for new learning and
University in Phoenix was hosted by Landscape Forms Pres- innovation made possible by universal access.
ident, Richard Heriford, and moderated by Byron Sampson,
ASU Landscape Architect/Faculty Associate. Collaborative Learning — creating spaces that support
collaboration within and between disciplines, among indi-
Guests were asked to consider five key issues driving current viduals and across diverse populations on campus.
campus master planning and design:
Moderator Byron Sampson defined the challenge: campuses
Sustainability — addressing energy use, resource conser- and colleges, he said, are under pressure, operationally and
vation, maintenance, and adaption of structure and spaces in terms of planning and design development. Funding is
over time. down, expectations are up, and the five big issues posed for

“The low-hanging Mark Hough. Cathy Blake.” he said. The James Johnson. reported that sionals in the room. which strategies and solutions interweave and overlap. the heart of sustainability is what is really going to make the Others.500 cyclists on its campus daily. You ture 2030 Challenge for carbon-neutral buildings and made can do what you are quote/unquote “supposed to do” but commitments for targeted energy and emissions reductions. that would make the biggest difference. He asked. forming a web in dollars and effect a 100% transformation in energy delivery. like NBBJ in Columbus.) a long-term institutional perspective. “The big challenge All of the institutions and firms represented at the table are for us is transportation: how to get cars off campus because addressing environmental sustainability in one way or another. Campus Services at Emory. er. Reducing auto use on campus will be addressed “by making parking very. “how are we as the collective Stanford is abandoning its co-generation plant and embarking consciousness of the universities engaging with these issues on a three-year program to replace it with a new hot-water and moving forward?” Discussion quickly revealed that the exchange system that will cost hundreds of millions of issues are interrelated and interdependent. going to make the biggest difference very. Duke University That’s a matter of investment. Landscape Architect and Project Manag- conversation started with sustainability. Mark Hough explained that Duke is a 2030 member and described the challenge for his campus. But you can’t solve Some. reported that his university has developed its own climate action plan that includes a You can do what you are quote/ 50% reduction in campus greenhouse gas emissions and a 25% reduction in energy use by 2015 over 2000 numbers. zero-waste campus by 2020. Associate Director of Campus L and s c a p e F o r ms Roundtable Report: Campus Planning and Design . Campus Landscape Architect. this with just money. including Stanford and Emory Universities. have biggest difference and what you should be doing from a not joined a protocol but have made serious commitments long-term institutional perspective” on their own. 2 discussion present major challenges for the design profes. very expensive” and by building on the strong alternate and what you should be doing from transportation system that his urban campus already has in place. Ohio have joined the Architec. fruit are things you can do to facilities and building systems. (ASU has about 17. You have to change the culture. but the Byron Sampson said ASU has established a mandate to be a heart of sustainability is what is really carbon-neutral. Planning and Design at Stanford University. unquote “supposed to do”.

new construction are being factored into decision-making. Principal. of the place. ness world. coupled development. better patterns of use. everybody is entitled to their own office. Peter Hedlund. The challenge. look at utilization. Our master plans Energy costs as well as the financial costs of demolition and now have a lot of renovation. The grand passage ways. is how to make them work. Sasaki is looking at ways to retrofit It’s not about how much water you buildings to bring space use in line with new ways of learning use.” have resulted in underutilization of space. Academic disciplines are sharing spaces and Cathy Blake. Mark Hough pointed out that while 10 years ago sustainability and preservation were two very Landscape is a major factor in defining the campus experi- different things and sustainable buildings were invariably ence. it’s the character of the heart and working. The buffers. Stanford University the traditional classroom. he said. Sasaki Associates One of the most critical things you Hedlund noted that many campuses are faced with build. today they share the same objectives and the synergy between them is driving planning and design. It embodies cultural as well as aesthetic values. 3 Sustainability involves taking a hard new construction. Faculty is being transitioned into the space- saving shared office environments now common in the busi. but in some cases have good sustainability is to define and protect bones. Energy consultants are assigning metrics to the resources rehabilitation or reuse to make it takes to operate buildings and making the argument for the most of existing facilities. The with what he calls “the entrenched feeling in academia that entrances. Associate Director of Campus Planning students are working in flexible labs and other alternatives to and Design. can do in the master plan in terms of ings from the 50s and 60s that have inefficient energy sys- tems and aesthetic problems. the stuff that is really vulnerable to The common practice of using classrooms for just four or five hours a day. often for less than five days a week. .

was that for future generations. cases be repurposed to preserve land but questioned what They are often ceremonial and establish a hierarchy for cam. Participants noted that these are not the best move. there’s something in that. hard density on the same piece of land and better supporting the and soft. perceptions of the campus environment. or the facilities.” Cathy Blake countered that buildings may in some spaces they walk through on their way to somewhere else. and to preserve them you think about conservation of land resources. 4 Designers and planners are challenged with identifying the in a fairly remote location it was developed according to spaces that embody the essence of the campus. Kim Way. removing dams along the river that runs through the campus Preservation of existing buildings has become part of a wider is restoring the original character of the place and changing approach to resource management that includes preserv. Blake stated. and also highly valued spaces. where feeling of the campus in a park. The new UC-Merced campus was offered dense natural plantings that once delineated the campus from as a cautionary example. is a development. “Some institutions are constructing by many less visible. occasionally formal. “If of memory” that create emotional ties. Principal/Urban Design and Planning at NBBJ. ASU is reimagining its huge campus as a series of malls or reported that his firm is seeing more colleges and universi- promenades connecting many small outdoor rooms along ties restoring natural environments that had been altered by their length. He cited work at Ohio State University. At Stanford the ing open space.” she said. What is emerging.” designed to support casual and collaborative engagement. As campuses grow. but more often informal and work of the institution. Steve new buildings not because they’re out of space but because Troost. a greater vari. “It takes energy to build but if you are putting three times the ety of outdoor spaces are emerging: small and large. They may be the design? Perhaps it would have been better to invest in existing first spaces people see as they approach the campus. L and s c a p e F o r ms Roundtable Report: Campus Planning and Design . even if it is a model of sustainable campus always the most densely occupied spaces. On these the “eddies” – “places where people can go to reflect some campuses new facilities of greater height and density and find their own time. the “places sustainable best practices. spaces also mattered. called the old ones don’t work the way they want. Built on prime agricultural land its environs are being restored to their former prominence. contemplative emerging pedagogies and the need for growth. Byron Sampson says.” Cathy Blake noted that at Stanford are being constructed on former footprints to better support the “image” places were iconic but the quiet. But the character of a campus is also defined port academic mission. happens in cases where existing buildings no longer sup- pus spaces. But. Steve Troost asked. Campus Planner at Michigan State University.

Design Principal at JACOBS in Dallas. a research dollars by building research liberal arts school outside of Boston with lagging growth and available underdeveloped land. research facilities species native to the environment. a real lifecycle change. Communities and there is serious discussion about the universal desirability colleges are partnering. “Joining them together on the same cam- pus has changed the whole dynamic of the two universities their uniqueness or identity. as preparation for work.” Michigan State has established a Ann Arbor series of “smart growth principles” to direct development that include compact campus composition. and greatly reducing and in some cases tied to performance-based metrics such water usage. “Liberal arts students now have access to the sciences and engineers have access to the liberal arts. especially in the medical and technology sectors. are ramping up their efforts to gain reported on the partnership between Babson College. But I say. a variety of trans- Growth at colleges and universities is research driven. benefits for both parties.” he said. replacing once-flooded attract top researchers. Public/private partnerships A great many universities and colleges are stepping into the breach. with great research at all levels. An important part of the joint cam- pus concept is that it has resulted in a more sustainable Mary Jukuri. walkable neighborhoods. While of open space and mixed land use. SmithGroupJJR. using community development funds . And I appreciate the argument to create the Franklin Olin College of Engineering on a that at some point they may dilute joint campus. portation choices. punctuating small dollars. As state education funding is dramatically reduced. and the Olin Foundation facilities. campus environment. Randy Sorensen. by creating an educational partnership using the same let’s bring it on. bringing in grants and research green lawns with a variety of local plants. 5 ASU has taken a huge step to replace irrigation-intensive and appropriateness of every university establishing com- landscaping throughout its campus with drought-resistant petitive research programs and facilities. Principal. country rises and falls on encouraging It has become a system. The future of this facilities. sometimes in very creative ways. plazas with water-circulating fountains. the pressure is on. costly and consumes space. preservation technology intensive.

6 to rehabilitate existing buildings in downtown areas. Architecture. A new multidisciplinary research building with as well as local economic growth. open. You have to keep innovating. Madison Byron Sampson. Steve Troost explained. Researcher. as Kim Way pointed out. faculty and researchers together across disciplines for focused problem solving builds in both col- L and s c a p e F o r ms Roundtable Report: Campus Planning and Design . and other areas to solve problems. Mr. engineering. No one permanently owns or controls a space. and flexible. Director. Instead of fixed it can change as our needs change. computer science of its existing buildings to fit the new approach. At Michigan State the established model of the between town and gown. Gary Brown. laborative process and more fluid and flexible organizational ing them into fine arts facilities and blurring the boundaries structure.” The next challenge for the bringing together people from liberal university. At ASU we are doing things that allow It’s very free. The model that Brown describes is generating attention. Campus Planning & Landscape The dynamic of the campus is changing. the researcher with secured funding and dedicated space is be- growth of universities and colleges has implications for regional ing transformed. a new ethos rules. The academic institution is a flexible laboratories has been constructed on campus and vital part of the larger cultural and economic sphere. “We’re saying. And. chairs over and have a conversation. University of Wisconsin. he said. And students to engage on the campus it’s going to last 100 years because in a different way. furniture. Landscape Architect/Faculty Associate. we’re bringing in movable I think it’s how we are going to be furniture so people can drag their building all of our new buildings. In our Institute for Discovery we’re don’t get too comfortable. turn. is to go back and retro-commission some arts. Arizona State University Bringing students. Keep finding new ways to collaborate.

Across You have to change behavior and the country colleges and universities are recognizing the relationship between collaboration and the ability to adjust change the culture. that allow people to interact in a collaborative fashion. and open to new ideas. and about sustainability. Director. increasing density. so teasing through these often it doesn’t. Principal. . reducing private pus planners and designers have new incentive to create space and increasing shared space.” Randy higher education is to prepare future Sorensen declared. More leaders.” a teaching opportunity. adopting landscaping practices based Mary Jukuri recalled her own former work with Project for on local ecology rather than universal idealized models – all Public Spaces in New York. Its iconic Memorial Union Terrace chairs have become popular as souvenirs. focusing less on iconic architecture and colleagues choose “totally generic” movable seating. Students take this ability as a given. tough battles when budgets are tight specific location mattered. James Johnson explained that at Emory. reducing Gary Brown of Wisconsin suggested that his professional carbon footprint. In the design and the physical environment. They can be enlisted in the observe the minutiae of how people use space and how they challenge. In a more en- can say something to young people. 7 ASU is not alone in its embrace of movable furniture. the furniture around. but just moved them around. students unbolted new chairs from their Luanne Greene. “We really have to working. more on buildings that meet the mission. The University Campus Planning Studio. invested in new ways of studying and an important insight that she took from it. allowing people to move collaborative spaces but that’s no guarantee of success. Cam. One of the points of space to reflect or study within a common setting. or to find personal educate people. Furniture that’s not tied down sometimes walks away. moorings. closed library plaza. an organization known for its require cultural change. new Adirondack chairs quickly disappeared. In an area with open access. “The most successful spaces on planning process you engage and campus are the ones that are flexible. Removing cars from campus. But students are engaged in thinking methodical analysis of social behavior in public spaces. Ayers Saint Gross Architects of Wisconsin has a unique problem. Creating the campus for the 21st century can be use furniture if we are going to design successful places.

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